With temperatures reaching 30C this week, people are being urged to take extra precautions and look out for those most vulnerable.
The Met Office has declared a Hot Weather Alert Level 3 in the East of England until 9am on Friday, which means there is a high chance that an average temperature of 30C by day and 15C overnight will occur over the next two to three days.
Temperatures in Cambridgeshire are expected to be in the high 20Cs for the rest of this week and the weekend, with a 90 per cent chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days to have significant effects on health.
Hot weather can be uncomfortable for many people, but can be dangerous for the very old, very young and those with chronic illnesses who feel the effects more acutely.
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Hot weather is enjoyable for most people though for some it is uncomfortable. However, sadly experience tells us that exposure to excessive heat can have a very serious effect upon your health. It is especially harmful for those with heart and lung problems with excessive heat leading to worsening of their condition. We're asking people to look out for those at risk from high temperatures - the elderly, ill or the very young; to make sure they are able to keep cool."
Here are some practical tips on how to stay cool and cope with the hot weather:
- look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
- close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler. But if it is cooler outside, then open your windows to let the cooler air in
- drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
- never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
- walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
- wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
- make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx.